Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for brands and businesses to reach their target audience. From celebrities and social media personalities to full-time bloggers and journalists, people love to follow the advice of those they know and trust. Everyone needs to start taking influencer marketing seriously!
As the old saying goes, “Those who tell the stories rule the world,” which means online influencers in today’s digital age. If you want your brand to be heard by a large number of people, then you need an influencer strategy that will get your message out there in front of potential customers. It can be challenging to know where to start, especially when developing an influencer marketing strategy.
This piece will help you understand the power of influencers and why they are such an effective way to market your brand and provide tips on how you can maneuver the current landscape for the best results.
What is influencer marketing?
When we talk about influencer marketing, we refer to a form of business collaboration where a brand works with an influential figure to help promote its products or services. This can be done through traditional advertising methods, social media posts, and even live events.
As with most forms of digital marketing today, the goal is for your potential customers to engage with you by clicking on links that direct them back to your website, where they will hopefully make a purchase.
It has been found that a vast majority of consumers are more sympathetic and feel better about buying from companies endorsed by influencers.
Influencer marketing is not just about generating sales; it also provides you with the opportunity to build brand awareness and create trust among potential customers.
It can be difficult for new brands or those less popular in their industry to gain exposure because they will lack the credibility that comes from having been around for a long time. This makes influencer marketing all the more important!
Your aim should be to get influential people talking positively about your business online, which will drive traffic directly to your website with the hopes of converting. Of course, this strategy works best if any endorsements made by an influencer align with what your company stands for and believes in.
If done correctly, influencer marketing can be a great way to build brand awareness and increase your online presence. However, it is not as simple as just asking an influencer to post something about you! You need to consider many things, such as the range of benefits that come with working with specific types of influencers or why certain demographics might work better than others for reaching potential customers.
The power of Influencers
In today’s digital age, influencers have become a powerful force to be reckoned with. These popular figures are often seen as one of the best ways to generate traffic because people trust them more than other forms of advertising, such as banner ads! As a marketer, you just can’t afford to ignore the power of these online personalities.
We live in a world where people are constantly looking for ideas on what they should buy next, so it only makes sense that you use influential figures as a way of getting your product or service out there! Consumers trust the opinions of others more than opinions being pushed at them by companies themselves, which is why endorsements work so well.
In fact, according to a study by McKinsey & Company in India, “80% of consumers will consider a new brand based on the recommendation of a key influencer.”
In addition, Twitter and Annalect showed that Twitter users increased their intent to buy by 5.2 times when exposed to promotional content from influencers, and 49% said that they rely on recommendations from social media influencers when deciding whether or not to make purchases. Indeed, the power of influencers can never be overestimated, and they are an ideal choice for brands who want to get their message across.
How to build an effective influencer marketing strategy
As you prepare to adopt influencer marketing as part of your overall marketing plan, it’s important to create a strategy. Like any good marketing technique, building strategies will help ensure that your efforts are thorough and deliberate.
Don’t see influencer marketing as one of those “easy” techniques for any business because there’s an availability of influencers on social media that brands can easily connect with. Just having access to these figures isn’t enough; each endorsement needs to be planned carefully if these strategies are to have maximum effect at reaching audiences who might not otherwise pay attention.
With an effective strategy in place, you’ll have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and have a system set up to track your success.
Let’s take a look at how to harness the power of influencers with an effective influencer marketing strategy:
Identify the best platform(s) to use for your campaign
The platforms you choose to explore will depend on your target audience and what they spend the most time online doing. For example, if your brand targets millennials, then Instagram is a great platform to use since it’s one of the most popular social media sites among this group.
On the other hand, if you want to get in touch with young parents who are the main decision-makers when it comes to purchases in a household, Facebook might be a better option since these people tend to spend more time on this site.
If you’re not sure about which platform(s) to pitch camp on, you can make use of social listening. This involves tracking and analyzing conversations on different social media platforms around your industry or related topics.
This will help you identify the most popular social media sites where people talk about your industry. In addition, you can discover influential figures on each relevant platform and connect with them easily without wasting time on platforms that might not be useful for your objectives.
Do thorough research to find influencers that are ideal for your brand
For your campaign to be successful, you must target Influencers whose followers are a good match for your brand and who share similar views as yours. E.g., if you’re selling watches, target an influencer account with lots of pictures of timepieces or someone who is followed by people interested in luxury items or fashion.
While conducting your research, you must be clear about what type of social media influencer you want to work with. Are you going for someone with celebrity status who has between one million-plus to over a hundred million followers (Mega Influencer)? Macro – who has between a hundred thousand-plus to about one million followers? Or Micro – who has between one thousand to under a hundred thousand followers?
Your choice will largely depend on your budget, but it’s still important to know when best to use each type of Influencer. We’ll help you out:
- Mega-Influencers – Best used to create awareness where you require a broad reach. This type of influencer will help get your product or service to as many people as possible in the shortest time. You can view it as an aggressive form of marketing.The disadvantage of this is that, although your product/service might get in front of millions of people, your conversion rate might be low compared to the huge fees you pay for such an endorsement. The celebrity sometimes overshadows the brand, so you might have a situation where people are more focused on the celebrity than your product.An example is Kylie Jenner, who is reported to charge about $1.2 million for an Instagram ad. From her 138 million followers, you can be guaranteed about 10 million views/likes or more (as seen on her past posts), but how many of those people will make a purchase?Regardless of the outcome, many CEOs will be elated at the massive reach that their brand has gotten.
- Macro-Influencers – If your campaign is still at the awareness stage and you want to get to know your audience a little more, macro-influencers are an ideal option. They are good at discussing different topics that your audience will be interested in.They might be cheaper than mega-influencers, but their reach is certainly not as wide.
- Micro-Influencers – While their reach may be small compared to mega and macro-influencers, micro-influencers have a vital role and should never be overlooked. These guys are masters of communication and are ideal when you’re ready to make your campaign more defined. They tend to dedicate more time to your brand, so you can count on them to drive actions that meet your campaign goals, as well as build strong relationships with your prospective clients.In addition, micro-influencers have niche and topic expertise, which you need when trying to convince your target audience to make purchases.
Building a solid relationship with an influencer is vital for the success of your campaign because you want someone who understands what it is that you’re trying to achieve. By building positive relations, an influencer will be more inclined to promote your brand in future campaigns and may even form long-term partnerships!
Ensure that your budget and campaign are effectively managed in accordance with your goals
It would help if you also thought about how much you’re willing to spend on influencer marketing. When you’re clear, develop a budget that fits your needs. Be careful not to overestimate and end up spending more than you can afford, but don’t go too low with your fees either because this will bring less effective results in the long run!
When setting up your campaign, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want it to achieve. Make sure that the goals align with your brand strategy and make them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). Make sure you allocate enough resources – whether this is funds or workforce – for your influencer marketing because if not managed correctly, you risk negative effects on your campaign and even damage to your brand image.
Once you have a budget in place and know exactly what you want from the influencer marketing strategy, break down each of these goals into smaller milestones so that you can track them easily.
Review your strategy and refine it if necessary
This is the best way for you to measure results from your campaign so that you know what works well with certain types of campaigns or specific target audiences.
You should review your influencer marketing strategy regularly to ensure that it is still relevant and working towards your goals. If you do not, then the influencer program may become redundant or even harmful to your brand image.
Refining a campaign is not always easy because you need to consider the return on investment that it brings. Still, by constantly monitoring your results closely, you can make necessary changes where needed.
This is a good way to ensure that influencer marketing continues to drive sales for your brand and helps establish strong relationships with customers.
Tracking your influencer marketing campaign
Once you have your influencer marketing strategy in place, it’s time to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help measure the success of the campaign.
You will want to track indicators such as
- The reach and engagement of your influencer’s posts for each campaign
- Number of clicks on the links within your influencer’s content
- Traffic coming from your influencer marketing efforts
- Sales driven by the campaign, or
- An increase in social media following.
You can create a hashtag for each campaign and include it in all of the influencer’s content so that you can track how many times it is used.
If your influencer mentions your brand name and follows it with a hashtag, then they’re effectively creating a new, custom audience for you that will be easier to track!
The power of influencers has been proven time and time again. Brands of all shapes and sizes can benefit from influencer marketing because it will put them in front of their target audience and help them develop brand awareness and credibility while at the same time driving sales.
It’s important to note that social media influencers should not be treated as a silver bullet for your marketing efforts but should rather be viewed as another channel to help boost your company’s success.
The digital marketing landscape is evolving, and it is now at the discretion of companies to take advantage of any opportunity that brings about a competitive advantage. If you can carefully plan, launch and monitor your influencer marketing campaigns, it will help you grow your brand image and position you as a thought leader in your industry.